Adobe rep says, "Go Screw yourself Apple!" Huh?
Brimelow's post — which has been updated to highlight the fact that his opinion does not represent the views of Adobe — opens up on Apple and viciously attacks their stance towards application development. Brimelow writes:
"What they are saying is that they won’t allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe. This does not just affect Adobe but also other technologies like Unity3D."
Sadly, I think Brimelow is overreacting in his piece and being a bit disingenuous. This update to the license agreement strikes me less as an assault on Adobe specifically, than as something that is meant to insure high quality, native applications written on Apple's mobile devices. There are a number of other logical reasons one would want to prohibit cross-platform compilers — admittedly, a competitive advantage might be one of them.
John Gruber, at Daring Fireball, brought up some interesting points today:
"Cross-platform software toolkits have never — ever — produced top-notch native apps for Apple platforms. Not for the classic Mac OS, not for Mac OS X, and not for iPhone OS. Such apps generally have been downright crummy.
Consider, for one example, Amazon’s Kindle clients for iPhone OS and Mac OS X. The iPhone OS Kindle app is excellent, a worthy rival in terms of experience to Apple’s own iBooks. The Mac Kindle app is a turd that doesn’t look, feel, or behave like a real Mac app. The iPhone OS Kindle app is a native iPhone app, written in Cocoa Touch. The Mac Kindle app was produced using the cross-platform Qt toolkit."
Another potential reason for blocking cross-platform compilers is that it may related to how applications handle multitasking in iPhone OS 4. Daniel Dilger, a writer for Apple Insider, says:
"The primary reason for the change, say sources familiar with Apple's plans, is to support sophisticated new multitasking APIs in iPhone 4.0. The system will now be evaluating apps as they run in order to implement smart multitasking. It can't do this if apps are running within a runtime or are cross compiled with a foreign structure that doesn't behave identically to a native C/C++/Obj-C app."
That said, I'm not sure entirely how reasonable that argument is. Given enough time, I think you could have a cross-platform runtime actually work with Apple's multitasking implementation.
A lot of this comes down to the simple fact that Apple wants complete and total control over their platform — which is one of the most lucrative mobile computing platforms in existence. I'm sure there's quite a bit of jealously and hurt feelings over not being able to get a piece of that pie.
Secondly, there is bad blood that stems from Apple and Adobe's spat over Flash itself. While Flash has nearly complete saturation in the desktop computing space, it's platform is widely panned by many users for being too sluggish or resource intensive. This is something we've debated in numerous gdgt discussions . These resource intensive requirements are one of the primary reasons we haven't seen them really take hold in the mobile space.
It's a shame that there's so much anger on both sides. Adobe and Apple both make fine products that make our lives easier. But there's definitely a lot of things that both companies can be blamed for and a lot of improvements that would make their numerous users and fans happier.
 The Flash Blog - Apple Slaps Developers in the Face
 Daring Fireball - Why Apple Changed Section 3.3.1
 AppleInsider - Apple's prohibition of Flash-built apps in iPhone 4.0 related to multitasking
 gdgt - Flash: A CPU hog or hot tamale?
Considering my user experience over the years, Go Apple.
At this point is Flash running on any mobile OS in the US? I know it's supposedly close on Android. Checking Adobe's site it looks like the only mobile devices with Flash are in Japan.
Adobe's argument that this is limiting users choice is kinda hollow. Apple isn't limiting content, just the delivery system. Adobe is trying to frame this like a content censorship issue, which ultimately it is not.
Not fair? Yeah. Does that matter? Of course not - unless someone in regulation gets interested.
There is no real reason to this aside from the commercial, which is fair enough. As for the rest of the comments - the usual raving Apple fanboi apologism.
On the other hand, unless you are Adobe or a Flash developer then this doesn't really matter. Apps developed through an interpretor do not compare to those developed natively for the platform. An interpretor just can't provide the same experience.
Some might argue that it doesn't matter and those apps should be allowed on the platform anyway. Personally, I can't too worked about it because, as far I can see, there are already plenty of crappy apps available. Excluding apps that would inevitably be crappy is not a big deal. Apple's priority should be encouraging more high quality apps from developers and doing a better job of pushing great apps to the forefront.
Having said that, I don't really notice the speed issue on Mac or Win anymore as a) all my machines are current / fast and b) none of the machines I actually spend meaningful time in front of have platter drives anymore.
Ironically, Apple users have a far fewer choice of decent alternatives to manage and listen to their libraries with once they start to probe the limits of iTunes. There's Songbird (which is still buggier than a 3-day-old corpse in August) and... well, that's pretty much it. That also incidentally belies the 'quality over quantity' argument that Apple advocates used to use at the drop of a hat.
Some of the (inevitably Apple) dev-originating arguments about app quality and watering down the uniqueness of each platform is at the most fundamental level bogus especially nowadays: Lazy developers make crappy apps.